::Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea):: It’s strange how disconnected we can be from the world we live in. I’ve known about the immune supportive properties of echinacea since I was school-aged and bringing home all the diseases. Mom would give us the capsules that she bought at the drugstore during flu season, and we popped them the same way we would our multivitamin. I had no idea then that it was the same jolly coneflower that graced summer gardens in my neighborhood, let alone that it was a native plant. I lived in the world most of us do – where food came from stores, not gardens or forest, and herbal remedies come from bottles, not plants. Learning to grow, forage, and use plants has, more than almost anything else, expanded my understanding of what it means to be a creature of this earth. No wonder my colonizing ancestors tried to squash this medicine. Through it we learn that nature gives freely and also seeks our care. Through it families and neighbors heal and sustain one another, with knowledge that has historically been protected and shared, unpatented and unmarketed, by women. Through it we find we belong in nature as receiver of her gifts and carer of her habitats. We may have done our best to contain it in capsules from the drugstore, but the magic is in the field, forest, and garden, where we have forgotten we belong.